The New Yorker

My Favorite Cultural Moments of 2015


Hong Chau and Christopher Abbott in Annie Baker’s

Ferrante Fever, as the condition is proudly called by Elena Ferrante’s publisher, Europa Editions, has been building for the past few years, since the release of the first book of the Neapolitan novels, “My Brilliant Friend.” But I have had that fever for a decade, because, as her translator Ann Goldstein’s devoted apprentice and friend, I have been proofreading Ferrante since “The Days of Abandonment,” published in 2005. The thrill of breaking The New Yorkers style rules—violating all kinds of American grammatical conventions as we go—has been only one of the joys of working on Ferrante’s arresting, unputdownable books. Another has been trying to figure out how Ferrante manages to make her plot twists so character-driven and inevitable, and of basking in that strange and wonderful feeling that the books were written just for you. Seeing mobs of readers cheer for Ann, focussing their love on absent author and present translator at once, has been thrilling to behold. It’s not every day that BookCourt evokes Altamont.